So, a few weeks ago when I decided to start getting out the Christmas decorations, I realized, holy crap! We have no fireplace mantles! Well, I obviously knew when we bought our home there were no fireplaces, but I was not thinking about the decorating challenges this would bring.
Growing up, my mom always made the house feel so magical at Christmas time. She would put out all different kinds of Christmas knick knacks, hang garland, string colored lights throughout to match the lights on the tree then place Mr. & Mrs. Clause in the center of the fireplace mantle. When it was time for St. Nick to come, our stockings were the final touch. My sisters and I have had the same stockings since we were kids, and mom still keeps the tradition of filling our stockings even though we are all grown, I no longer live there, and I now have a child of my own. This could partially be why I am so crazy about starting traditions with Johnny.
When Chris and I bought our first home together we ended up having 5 fireplaces(4 with mantles) by the time we were done rehabbing it. Our fireplaces quickly became the focal point of each room! Not just for Christmas, but year round.
With that being said, when we moved in to our cozy little home, being mantleless was a challenge at first, but I am quickly realizing I simply need to pick a focal point just like a did before. Since we really only have two rooms complete at the moment, that does not leave me with much to work with, but I have learned to work with what I got! SO that leaves me with the living room and dining room to decorate! I chose to use a shabby French style mirror in the living room/foyer area. I placed it on top of an antique bench my sisters gave Chris and I as a house warming gift 6 years ago. The reason I did not hang the mirror is because I honestly did not think that is where it would stay. BUT I am now sort of enjoying the relaxed look in the entry. Who knows how long it will last. My guess is until I find the perfect little settee ;)
For the dining room...the chandelier will always be the focal point. There is really no competing with it! If I could have one like it in every room I would. And I may, eventually;) So, for the dining room I chose to decorate the farmhouse table below the chandelier, to bring it all together. I like to keep a room balanced. I believe that is key. There is a little bit of Christmas all through out the room, but the main display is below my focal point.
SO, back to my main point...if you are without a mantle and are lost on where to focus this Christmas, or where to hang stockings, don't be afraid to get creative. Pick a favorite piece and go with it, just remember to keep the room balanced!